Karma: You Asked For It

According to Newton’s third law of motion, “every action has an equal and opposite reaction”. People also like to use the phrase “you reap what you sow.” Any farmer will be quick to tell you sowing a pumpkin seed won’t yield corn the next year.

Likewise, if we want to create happiness, we must learn to sow happiness. If we want to be happy, it makes no sense to focus on things that do not make us happy. You need to put your attention on what you do want, rather than what you do not want. This does not mean that we should live in denial of “problems” or situations in our life that we have interpreted as negative. We should simply acknowledge the problem as the result of a seed that had been sown earlier in our life, or even before, and take responsibility for it by attempting to live more positively. Remember, nothing in the universe exists randomly. If we want to experience something different, we will let the negativity and grumbling go and begin putting our attention towards the solution to our problems and what we do want in our life.

Eastern traditions refer to this effect as karma. Karma is action, the interpretation of that action, and the resulting consequence of that action which is also interpreted and recorded in our memory. That memory will then prompt us in future actions. The memory will create a desire for more or less of the particular action.

Think about it: if I have a cup of coffee and perceive that it makes me feel good, I may interpret coffee as a good thing. I will be more likely to have another cup tomorrow. I will most likely continue to have coffee in the morning until I have an experience that will lead me to a different interpretation, memory and desire. If I have a bad reaction to the coffee, I would be less likely to have another cup the next day.

Although Americans have a tendency to describe karma in a negative sense, making bad choices can still lead to a good outcome if you take responsibility for the consequences, learn from them, and use that experience to make better choices in the future. For example, a child makes the decision to touch a hot stove. As a consequence, they are burned and record a negative feeling in their memory. In this way they learn that touching hot things is bad, and will be less likely to repeat this action in the future. Yet, as adults, we tend to turn away from unpleasant consequences in our life, blame others for them, and spend our time running from the resulting issues that arise.

Too often, we can get so bogged down in negative feelings and “karma” that we figure there’s just no way out. But by taking responsibility right then and there for every thought and action that has led you to the point you’re at today, acknowledging that you did play a major role in it (whether positive or negative, regardless of “outside influences”), and choosing to make positive causes for your life, you’ll be able to gain firm control over your actions and generate “positive karma” as you move forward towards your goals.

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One thought on “Karma: You Asked For It

  1. Love the idea and live by it that I focus on my boys (7 and 9) positive qualities and ignore the bad negative qualities. also, just rewarding the positive. Also, by focusing on the positive you get those feel good feelings that generate more positive results. I like that cycle. =>

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